Difu’s sole shareholder is the Association for Municipal Sciences, while more than 100 towns and cities contribute to supporting its work. Its major institutional sponsors are the German government (BMU) and the State of Berlin. With a staff of around 120, Difu is the largest urban research institute in the German-speaking world.
Difu supports municipalities with practice-based research, training and advice to resolve current issues and work on a long-term vision for sustainable urban development. As a scientific body for German towns and cities, it attaches particular importance to continually sharing information both with scientists and municipalities. It offers a broad range of services based on multidisciplinary expertise, forges links between municipal, state and government interests, and cooperates with other scientific institutions both in Germany and abroad.